Teacher's Exception to Fair Employment Legislation Ended
The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) has welcomed the passing of Chris Lyttle MLA’s Fair Employment (School Teachers) Private Member’s Bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Tina Merron Chief Executive officer Integrated Education Fund (IEF) says:
“The passing of the Bill along with the Integrated Education Bill signal a significant move forward for education in Northern Ireland. The Bill allows the ending of discriminatory employment practices in teaching and help provide our children with the best education to prepare them for full engagement in society. I would like to thank Chris Lyttle and indeed the whole Northern Ireland Assembly for supporting this Bill”
Dr Matthew Milliken School of Education, UNESCO Centre Ulster University says:
“The Fair Employment and Treatment (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 outlawed discrimination on the grounds of religious belief and political opinion in a number of settings. Article 71 of the Order however specifically exempts schoolteachers from employment protection under the legislation; in effect allowing Boards of Governors (who appoint and promote teachers) to discriminate between candidates on the basis of their faith and their community identity. The exception also means that there is no requirement for authorities that employ teachers to monitor the community composition of their workforces. This meant there were no official records of the community profile of teachers employed in Controlled schools, non-Denominational Voluntary Grammars, Integrated schools, Irish medium schools, Catholic Maintained schools and Voluntary Grammar schools managed under the auspices of the Catholic authorities.
The passing of this Bill will have a significant impact on addressing this major unequal treatment of teachers compared to other areas of work in Northern Ireland and ensure society values equality of opportunity and that we want our children to be educated by the best teacher – not just the best available teacher of a particular faith”